Eschew Glue: Make Your Own Sticky Liquid Glass Instead [Video]

Hackett demonstrates how to create the bonding agent sodium silicate

Sodium silicate, better known as water glass, can bond projects together where regular glue fails. But not all hardware stores keep water glass in stock. On the bright side, it’s easy to cook up your own.

In the latest episode of our Rebuild video series, Popular Science columnist Chris Hackett mixes up a batch of water glass from carefully measured portions of water, lye, and silica gel (you know, the stuff in those “Do Not Eat” desiccant packets). Although Hackett has the experience to tackle this project, it does involve a potentially dangerous chemical reaction. So take precautions, and wear protective eyewear and a respiratory mask.

WARNING: Mixing lye with water generates a lot of heat. Don’t hold the container in your hands while this reaction is occurring. The fumes are also dangerous, so avoid exposure to them.

Learn more tips and tactics from Hackett in his new book, Maker Skills.